We all aspire to find THAT perfect internship, whether it be with that agency we’ve always wanted to work for, or that professional sports team we’ve been watching since we were kids. Well Congratulations, you’ve found it! All the hours of searching and application preparation have paid off, and you even killed the interview. So now that you’ve got the internship, what do you do now? How do you convince them to hire you after you have completed your internship? Well that’s easy (but not really)! With a little common sense and a LOT of research on the company you will be interning for (including reading this amazing blog post), you should definitely be on your way to being the rock star intern turned future employee you were meant to be – as long as you pay attention very closely of course (which is actually something I’ll be talking about later on). In my own present and past internships, these tips have helped me immensely, not only to grow professionally, but personally as I look to build my personal brand (as you fine folks should be doing as well). These tips are meant to help guide you through your journey as an intern, and of course help you attain that potential, sought- after job you’ve been wanting. Hope this helps!
Go in with an open mind; attitude is everything!
Interning at a company, or wherever you might choose, is their way of getting to know you, and in turn, you trying to get to know them (Kind of like a first date, but a lot longer, and slightly more stressful). Employers want to know that you are a good fit for their organization, and this can be quite intimidating for a first timer (I know I was scared out of my mind with my first internship), but be calm. If you go in with a positive attitude and a willingness to learn, you’re already a step ahead of everyone else. No employer likes someone who’s “un-coachable”, unwilling to listen, or worst of all, a “know it all”. We all know a few people like that – yes? Let me keep it simple. Don’t be like that; it’s a turn off for employers (In other words, no second date for you).
Dress for the job you want, not the job you have
In simple words, dress to impress. When I say this I don’t mean wear the latest Levi jeans you just bought, or the short skirt you plan on ‘hittin’ up the club with on Saturday night. This sounds like common sense, but trust me you would be surprised at the outfits I have personally seen in my days as an intern. Appearance is everything. Your representation of the company should not only be how you conduct yourself, but also in your appearance. Remember, you are not only representing the company you are interning for, you are also representing your personal brand. Upon saying this, be mindful of your workplace dress code; some places might be more lenient than others.
Be a Sponge!
I’ll keep this short, I’m sure you will get the point. Remember when I spoke about being a “know it all”? Well, here’s where this applies. Absorb everything they tell you. The purpose of your internship is for you to learn and to grow. This is YOUR internship, and by becoming a “sponge” you are most likely to gain more out of your internship than you expected.
Asking questions during an internship is just as important (if not more so) as listening in your learning process. During an internship, an employer might say something like “don’t be afraid to ask questions”. When you hear this that’s your hint, ASK QUESTIONS (how are you supposed to know your potential future BF/GF if you don’t ask questions?)! Employers want you to engage them; they want you to learn about them and your position, so you can turn into that rock star intern you’ve always dreamed of being (Insert internship fantasy here). Take advantage of your opportunity and use it to your advantage.
This final piece of advice might just be the most important. Initiative is key! That’s right, I said it, and I’ll say it again, taking initiative is key. During an internship a few years ago, I got an amazing piece of advice (which actually landed me an offer);
“Make them want to keep you. Work in such a way, they don’t have an option but to hire you”.
To me all that means is, take initiative. Ask for extra work, stay late, bring new ideas to the table, show your employer something that your fellow interns don’t have. When you’re in an internship the most important thing employers look for is your WORK ETHIC. Sell your employer on your personal brand, by going above and beyond, and I assure you, you’ll get that “second date”, and maybe even a long term relationship with that company.
So there you have it, my take on what you should do to be a successful intern. Do you agree? Feel free to leave your suggestions, on what works/ doesn’t work for you! Remember this is a learning process so make the most of it and don’t forget to HAVE FUN while you’re at it, ok? Good luck and HAPPY INTERNING!